Update, April 22: Further to this story, water levels peaked on the Big East River on Saturday, April 20 at 4 a.m. at the Williamsport gauge. Water levels will begin to recede as the water works its way through the system, according to Steve Hernen, Huntsville fire chief and director of operations and protective services for the Town.
Snowload and any further precipitation will impact how quickly water levels start to go down.
Residents are once more being asked to stay away from fast-moving water as water levels remain high.
“Usually, once the water peaks it will drop back down within 48 hours,” said Hernen. “So yes, the water levels should start to go down soon.”
He said Huntsville OPP have had calls from motorists who went around roadblocks or drove on flooded roads and then found themselves needing help.
Hernen said at this time there are no foreseeable evacuations planned. “For the most part, the residents in flood-prone areas have moved to higher ground as they see this every year and can look after themselves.”
In other years, Huntsville has seen much higher flow rates, noted Hernen, however, this spring “we are seeing a prolonged flow.”
He said the municipality continues to monitor flows. “We are monitoring the water flows and dealing with roads, which are flooded. Until the water levels drop, there is not much anyone can do.” Hernen warned that water levels could continue to rise before they start receding.
Calls to the MNRF (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry) have gone unanswered.
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